In his time, the Hungarian magician Harry Houdini was lauded as one of the best professional magicians in the world. Houdini’s ability to craft mystery around each of his tricks and maintain a certain level of mystique only added to his legend. Houdini’s legend is such that it’s not unusual for his name to be uttered alongside that of Merlin, one of the original magicians from the Medieval Age. Today, Houdini enjoys a certain type of immortality that has kept his spirit alive, even after his unfortunate death following a punch to the gut in 1926.
According to a new report from New York Daily News, a coalition of Houdini’s biggest fans are coming together to make sure Houdini’s gravesite is restored and his memory never forgotten. The Houdini Museum, based in Pennsylvania, and the Society of American Magicians have partnered to fund the restoration of Houdini’s grave in Queens, New York. Costs for repairs are said to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, but for the first big professional magician who helped inspired many of today’s popular trade show magicians, it’s a small price to pay to preserve the man’s legacy.
88 Years Later, Houdini is Just as Popular as Ever
The coming together of so many corporate magicians, private party entertainers, and fans of Houdini speaks to just how popular the late sorcerer remains to this day. A movement to restore the godfather of professional magicians’ grave is relatively tame when compared to many of the ways his fans try to keep his spirit alive.
As USA Today reports, a corporate mentalist brought together a number of fans in Danvers, Massachusetts on Halloween to call Houdini’s ghostly form through a séance. The location is significant, as Danvers is considered the epicenter of the witch-hunts and the resulting Salem Witch Trials that occurred in 1692. Unfortunately for the mentalist and his congregation, Houdini chose not to make an appearance.
Hoping to take advantage of the near palpable, enduring fame of the beloved magician, the History Channel recently paired with Hollywood actor Adrien Brody as Houdini to create a mini-series based on his origins, life, and eventual death. Reviewers have not been kind to the series, but fans still flocked to it in droves.
Houdini’s fame clearly remains intact. With the combined efforts of the Houdini Museum and the Society of American Magicians, it will doubtlessly remain that way for many years to come.
Are you one of the people helping to restore Houdini’s grave? What is it about the magician that keeps you interested? Let us know in the comments below.